Archive for April, 2011

Five Outdoor Flooring Ideas

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Uncategorized

Often times, we tend to take for granted the outdoor part of our house, like the patio and deck. But just like any part of our home, it deserves a lot of attention, as it still adds to the beauty and overall appeal.

A great material to use for outdoor flooring is tile. It is durable and comes in different sizes, shapes and patterns.

So here are five outdoor flooring ideas if you want to use tile for your patio, deck, or garden.

  1. If you want your patio to be modern, consider using white tiles and combine it with chrome fittings and fixtures. Take a look at this Travertini Ceramic tile made by Atlas.
  2. There are also tiles that have different patterns on them like popular paintings or geometric prints. Selecting this type of tile can add a different feel and theme to your outdoor space.
  3. Another idea is to mix and match different shapes of tiles. Choose one large tile with a pattern or print that will reflect the theme that you wish to create and then arrange smaller tiles around it. We can help you find tiles that come in multiple sizes. Not all tiles come in all sizes and because not all tiles are the same thickness so it’s best to check with us before mixing and matching tiles.
  4. Make a pattern using your ceramic tiles. There are a lot of patterns that you can use to create your ceramic flooring such as the checkerboard pattern, a brickwork pattern, offset joint, diagonal with accent dots or a brick-weave pattern.
  5. If you want to add color and texture to your patio, you can opt to use pebbled or mosaic ceramic tiles. Remember, texture is great for slip-resistance.

Ask us which tiles are appropriate for outdoor use because not all tiles are suitable for exterior installations.

Find the Right Home for You

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Holidays

When you plan to buy a home, the process can seem overwhelming. Here are a few suggestions as you begin the process to make your search more successful.

Start with money. Talk to your bank or a mortgage broker to see how large a mortgage you can qualify for. Then take that number and factor in any additional expenses or spending preferences you won’t compromise on for a home. Take that monthly figure, and start saving the difference between that and what you’re already paying. This will allow you to “practice” paying the mortgage while you can still make adjustments, and the extra money will be helpful for unexpected expenses when you move.

Next, determine what kind of home you want. Do you want a new home or a resale? Are there certain neighborhoods or areas you want a home in for convenience to work or schools for your children? Start listing the most important factors. If you and a spouse/partner are buying a home together, make separate lists and figure out your priorities before you start looking.

New home builders have models to view. Be sure to include association fees and the cost of any upgrades you want. Also check into their financing. You might be able to get a better deal with their mortgage broker. You don’t really need a realtor with a new home purchase.

If you want a resale, start visiting open houses. This will give you a better idea of what homes look like in the neighborhoods you like and how much house you can buy in various locations. Only engage a realtor after answering those questions. That will make the search easier and quicker for both the realtor and you.

Finally, don’t get distracted by cosmetic characteristics in resale homes. Paint, flooring and light fixtures are easy to replace. Look at a home’s room size, arrangement and location. Pick a home that speaks to you, and then make it into a home that matches your style.

How To Remove Easter Egg Dye From Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Carpet

Easter is only a few days away! This year seems to be flying by! We hope you and your family have some fun plans to color Easter eggs! We thought we’d provide some helpful cleaning tips on how to remove Easter egg dye from carpet, just in case someone in your family has an accident. Happy Easter!

Detergent Solution – Mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. (See Residue Precautions.) Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (fluorescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.

Warm Water – Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.

Ammonia Solution – Mix one (1) tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of water. Please note: Be aware that ammonia, if used improperly, can cause a color change. Be sure to test a hidden area.

Call a Professional – Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. CRI – 1-800-882-8846.

Careful Use of Color

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice

With its white walls, white flooring and white furniture, why does this room work so well? Let’s take a look at what is happening here.

There are three reasons why this white room works: good architecture, black accents, and a judicious use of color.

To start, white has no forgiveness. Color is a great distracter. You can use it to hide architectural flaws. White, on the other hand, calls attention to any problems. This room is well proportioned with a clearly-defined focal point and inviting architectural details such as the floor to vaulted ceiling windows. Limiting the color lets those elements stand out. With the amazing white carpet and furniture, this room makes a strong and positive design statement.

The second powerful factor is the use of black to accent the room and define the focal point. The fireplace and TV call your attention, and the white helps them stand out. Bringing black into a room adds drama and grounds a space. Without it, the room would feel like it’s about to float away.

Finally, a careful use of color helps a white room look more interesting and feel warmer. Only two colors enter this space. The light green is a fresh tone that can carry the floor-to ceiling curtains. A glass bowl on the coffee table and elements of the throw pillows bring that same green into the room. The second color choice is a light red – strong without being overwhelming. This color appears less than the green, but as a stronger shade it has a similar color impact in the space.

Go for color if you want, but don’t hesitate to limit it as in the design of this room. You can still make a statement.

Plan for Baking with your Children

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Kitchen and Bath

Certain activities are fun to share with a child. Baking cookies is definitely one of them. It can be a learning activity that covers math, following instructions and accurate measuring. Baking also has the advantage of providing its own snacks at the end of the effort.

Preparation makes the difference between fun and frustration with this sort of project. First, don’t overestimate your capabilities. If you’re a regular baker, go ahead and make cookies from scratch. If not, take a shortcut with a mix or even pre-made dough.

No matter what level of baking you plan, be sure to have all of the ingredients and tools you need ready. Children have limited patience, so it’s better not to have them wait while you search for something. Prepare your baking area, adding a stool if needed so your child can reach the countertop.

Kitchen floors are designed to handle messes. In spite of that, children can make big messes quickly. Have cleaning supplies ready to address any spills so the floor doesn’t have a chance to get slippery.

Plan for fun decorating elements such as sprinkles or food coloring to liven up the final product. If cookie cutters are involved, have your child choose which ones to use.

For clean up, take advantage of the time when the cookies bake. Start with the utensils, placing them in the sink. Then go over the countertops. Finish with the floor, to handle any spills that might have occurred during the other clean-up activities. Have your child help with clean-up too – it’s part of baking. Finally, check their hands and the bottoms of their shoes before they run off to less forgiving flooring.

Engineered Wood: Beautiful and Workable

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hardwood and Laminate

If you haven’t looked at engineered wood for a while, you may be surprised at the variety of wood types and finishes. They are also just as lovely as solid wood floors once installed.

Depending upon your needs, engineered wood may be the best choice, or even the only choice. For homes with concrete subfloors, solid wood will warp and buckle. Engineered wood is designed to handle the temperature and humidity differences. It also works best for floors with radiant heat.

Wide plank floors, exotic woods and different textures and finishes are available in engineered as well as solid wood.

Installation is easier with an engineered floor – particularly important when renovating. Solid wood floors require sanding and staining in addition to installation which creates much more sawdust as well as a longer installation time.

Engineered wood floors are just as durable as solid wood with even less maintenance because they are pre-finished and sealed. However, they can be sanded down and re-stained and sealed when needed in the future. This can be done at least once and maybe more depending upon the flooring chosen.

If you’re considering changing to wood floors, take a look at what’s available in engineered wood. You may find just the right choice for your home.

Pick Rug for Comfort

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Area Rugs

Do your children love to spend time on the family-room floor, whether watching TV, playing games or just talking together? Are you a floor-sitter yourself? If so, it may be time to look at flooring for comfort as much as style.

Choosing an area rug with comfort in mind may seem unusual, but it can make a real difference for you and your family. A family room is really all about having everyone enjoy the space, and with a few simple decisions you can add to everyone’s pleasure.

To start, shop the rug’s pad. Look for one that is suitable to the flooring you have in your family room. Every type of flooring does better with a rug pad designed for it. Select the best quality pad you can afford; a comfortable rug starts with the pad.

Next, feel as well as look at any rugs you are considering. You may even want to bring a child along to stretch out on possible rug choices and give you a thumb up or down. Other issues such as allergies to wool may affect your choice of materials. A rug such as the one shown is very cozy thanks to the long thick yarn. However, even low-nap rugs can be comfortable if they are well constructed.

Once you’ve found the perfect rug, shop for a few large floor pillows to add even more comfort. Then stretch out on the floor with your family and enjoy yourself.

Five Reasons to Choose Porcelain Tiles

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Hints and Advice

If you are looking to give your home a more luxurious look, you can go for porcelain tiles. The use of porcelain tiles is an emerging trend in interior design. Porcelain tiles are actually a type of ceramic tile. They are composed of clay, quartz and water. However, they are blazed at different temperatures and that is why porcelain tiles are denser than other ceramic tiles. There are many reasons to choose porcelain tile here are the top five.

1. Porcelain tiles are versatile.

Porcelain tiles come in many forms. They can be glazed, double-glazed or even unglazed. The glazed ones are harder than their unglazed counterparts. You can also get them in many colors and textures. Aside from using porcelain as flooring, it can also be used for wall tiles and countertops. It can also be made to look like slate, limestone, marble and even wood.

2. Porcelain tiles are durable.

Unlike ceramic tiles, they can both be used for the indoors and the outdoors. They do not burn. Even if you have a hot piece of charcoal from the grill fall onto your outdoor tile it will not cause damage. This also makes porcelain tiles suitable for kitchen countertops as it will not melt even if hot pans and skillets are placed over it.

3. Porcelain tiles are highly adaptable to changes in weather.

In colder areas where the climate can be freezing, porcelain tiles are chosen over ceramic tiles because it does not absorb as much water. It is also ideal for areas with hot temperatures because it will not fade in the heat of the sun and chipping will not occur.

4. Porcelain tiles are easy to clean.

Because of its low absorbency rate, these tiles are easy to clean. You can just sweep the floor to remove dirt or just wipe or clean it off with a damp cloth or mop and a household cleaner.

5. Porcelain tiles are practical to use.

You do not have to put up with replacing your floors from time to time. Because of its durability, it will take a long time before porcelain floors wear down. You also need to know that the color of porcelain runs down through the tile hence, its color will stay the same after high traffic use.

Erinn Valencich Interior Designer/Style Expert, “As Seen On HGTV”

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Erinn Valencich HGTV, Events

Erinn Valencich

Interior Designer/Style Expert, “As Seen On HGTV”

Interior designer/style expert Erinn Valencich is known for her elegant, glamorous, contemporary style. In addition to her work as an interior designer/style expert, Erinn has hosted several specials for “HGTV”. Erinn owns a multi-faceted design company in California, has designed rooms for numerous celebrities, and currently serves as the designer partner for Quick-Step flooring. Appearing on “The View” and in many design publications, such as House Beautiful, Home, and Better Homes & Gardens, Erinn continually brings her style inspiration and design tips to those wanting to create spaces that are fun, elegant, and livable.

In her design seminars, Erinn is currently focused on teaching consumers how to express their personal creativity and make their homes more beautiful, while staying within a budget. One of the most popular national mainstream design trends right now is the “room lift”. Rather than trading up to bigger, better homes or embarking on expensive, whole-house remodels, today’s consumers simply want new ideas on how to “refresh” their homes  quickly, easily, and affordably. During her seminars, Erinn walks attendees through effective design techniques to achieve “big style through small changes”. Her effective “room lift” changes show how to easily and affordably breathe new life and design flair into any room.

As an interior designer, Erinn is also keenly interested in the “live-ability of design”. She believes a home should be stylish, but also enjoyable to live in. One of her core design principles is that “Beautiful Rooms Are Meant To Be Lived In”. Erinn teaches others how to select materials that provide design freedom, yet still stand up to today’s busy lifestyles and continue looking great with little maintenance.

Many consumers struggle with how to most effectively use color in their homes. Erinn provides practical advice on the use of a stunning variety of colors and styles, as well as several other key design principles. Her room lift tips also include easy, affordable DIY changes that are within the skill level of the average homeowner.

As Quick-Step flooring’s designer partner, Erinn supports Quick-Step dealers and customers through frequent participation in retail events and free design seminars. Her style insight and helpful hints are woven throughout the Quick-Step merchandising program, to help consumers during their selection process. Erinn has also selected some of her favorite Quick-Step products to recommend as “Designer’s Choice” products.

To view a few of Erinn’s style tips and original Quick-Step design webisodes go to quickstep.com.

For information on Century’s events, please visit www.facebook.com/CenturyTile and click on the events tab.